BEIJING, May 3-- Formula One team boss Sir Frank Williams has sprung to the defence of Australian driver Mark Webber after his disappointing start to the season.
Webber has made fifth spot on the starting grid in the four races this season but had to battle through the races, collecting a total of seven points to end equal ninth in the drivers' championship.
Williams blames the FW27 car for his disappointing performance, saying its still under intensive development and at this stage is unable to compete with pace-setting Renaults. Toyota, McLaren-Mercedes and Ferrari are also ahead of Williams in this season's constructors' championship.
Williams is convinced that Webber has the ability to win races with the right equipment.
Webber got off to a hesitant start at the last race, the San Marino Grand Prix in Imola, where he qualified fourth on the grid, was beaten to the first corner and did not have the pace to regain lost ground.
The team has decided to devote time to examining its slow starting difficulties, but technical chief Sam Michael says he cannot pinpoint the problem.
Michael says various factors could be to blame and the team is gradually beginning to overcome the car's development setbacks, namely that it was designed with restricted wind tunnel assistance.
The team will take a lot of new parts for this weekend's Spanish Grand Prix in a bid to catch up with other giants.